Oh man. So get this, I was wandering around Wicker Park (natch) looking for my long lost lady love, when I just slipped on some ice (Chicago winter amirite?) and bopped myself on the head. Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Wicker Park?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) In the beginning of the film our hero Josh Harnett is going to a biiiiiig meeting for his company. At the conclusion of that meeting he is to set off for what country to close The Big Deal?
2) But oh ho, he is waylaid by the faintest glimpse of his old lady love from ChiTown, Lisa. What item does she drop that convinces him that she is the same Lisa he knew from oh so long ago?
3) Flashback time! How did he and Lisa meet?
4) After missing ooooooooooooooooh twenty flights and probably ruining his career, Harnett meets “Lisa” at her apartment. Who is she really?
5) So give me the whole run down, what happened to Lisa back in the day and who are all these people?
Bonus Question: In the mid credits scene we see a happy Harnett working where?
1) China baby! And he’s soooooo excited. He’s going to smash the deal, propose to his gf and … who am I kidding, Harnett is a flake, he’s going to not go to China and wander around the city like a dipshit.
2) Besides looking and sounding like Lisa, the clincher is the high heels she is wearing which snap as she runs out of the restaurant. You’ll see in the next question why that is so very important.
3) So the first time he sees Lisa is when, while working at a camera and video store, he is tasked with fixing a home video recorder. She is the person on the tape. While fixing it he just so happens to see this person outside of the shop and runs after her to creepily leer at her in her dance class (sorry in the early 2000s this was called “being romantic” I think). Later, while hanging with Matthew Lillard, she comes into Lillard’s weird asian-themed (what is the deal with this store?) shoe store, and Harnett hits on her and sells her the very shoes he would see her wearing in the restaurant years later.
4) That’s Alex. Alex is a person who was obsessed with Harnett (or is she obsessed with Lisa and that is why she is in love with Harnett? … Hard to tell honestly). She stood by and pined for him long ago when Harnett and Lisa were going out, and how it’s time for her to shine. She can have sex with him and make him her own (or so she thinks).
5) Lisa and Harnett were going out (haaaard) in ChiTown living the life artistes in love (awwwww). Harnett is going to move to the Big Apple though and wants Lisa to come with him, but she balks. At the same time she is offered a part in a touring production of Cabaret in Europe which she has to accept toot sweet or else. After a bunch of missed connections, Lisa tasks Alex with giving Harnett the message that she’ll move in with him but that she has to go to Europe and to call her, not realizing that Alex is an insane person who will instead break Harnett’s heart. Once the tangled web Alex wove is undone, Lisa and Harnett finally meet and smooch whole bunches and are like “Looooove, who needs money or a career.”
Bonus Answer: Of course he’s working at his buddy Lillard’s shoe store Lady Dragon Shoes. And what’s this, there is a big deal that Harnett needs to close in … *gulp* China? As Harnett boards the plane he thinks about how funny it is that he’s finally going to China. Well, that is, until he gets there and realizes that that big advertising deal was with a company which just so happens to sell shoes as well, and who did they get to close the big deal when he flaked in the original film? Yup, Rebecca Martin, his almost-fiance and (little did we know) the best salesman at his old firm before he came along. And now she’s a high level executive specializing in shoe sales and ready to ruin Harnett’s life. Wandering the streets of Shanghai, Harnett reflects on how he has managed to ruin his totally different career in shoe sales by virtue of not telling his company he couldn’t go to China that one time because he was an asshole flake. In the end, he goes back and tells Lillard that there is no way anyone in China is selling him any shoes ever. Lillard, naturally, fires him, and Harnett ends up slinking back to the life of mindless advertising graphic design, determined to show more professional courtesy in the future.
Lisa appears in exactly 15 seconds of the film. It’s called Wicker Park 2: Huangpu Park. The reviews wonder at the “extended scenes in which people monologue at Harnett about how in the business world it is important to be a team player and to inform people about professional or personal conflicts that might prevent you from closing deals … it’s weird.”